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Zac Build Guide by CptTeemoOnDuty

platinum

Zac, He was made for this... literally.

By CptTeemoOnDuty | Updated on August 10, 2019
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Runes:

Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Bone Plating
Revitalize

Inspiration
Cosmic Insight
Magical Footwear
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+5 Armor
+6 Magic Resist

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Smite

Smite

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #37 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies



So you want to play the zac?, in the following guide I will try my best to give some insight on the champion. Zac is pretty straightforward, high CC tank who scales on health and AP, and is mostly played as a jungler. This guide will focus on his tanky "usual" type of build, not on a full AP zac combo.

Zac is mostly useful in compositions that want to teamfight and need some harder engage, his combo allows you to do so and lets you pull of some great teamfight combos that actually can make a difference between winning and losing the game.


-DISCLAIMER-
Some of the art in this guide isn't mine. Be sure to check out the original owners.

Pros
  • Mobile. Has a leap and his ult allows you to jump as well.
  • A very tanky champion.
  • A second life, which allows you to sometimes be a bit riskier.
  • Good CC.
  • Good engage.
  • AoE Damage.
  • Decent sustain with his passive.
Cons
  • Could become less impactful when behind.
  • Engage mostly relies on hitting his leap.
  • Not the highest damage.
  • Does better against area camps (like raptors), but takes a bit longer to do single camps (like red buff).

Zac build

Aftershock

Grasp of the Undying is pretty useless as a Jungler, Same goes for Guardian as they are mostly runes used in a laning phase with allies or enemies to use them on, but Aftershock is actually good, Zac main combo is jumping into the enemy team, this rune gives you what you need, added bonus effects and also an AoE damage proc added to your damage.

Font of life

Out of the three, Demolish could be used to push towers down faster. Shield Bash again is not ideal, Zac does not provide shields at all, so it becomes quite useless unless you have a support shielding you constantly on botlane perhaps. Lastly Font of Life is good with the CC Zac provides, it isn't amazing but out of the three I prefer it.

Bone plating

Considering all three options, you can opt for Conditioning to improve your overall stats but later in the game, Second Wind is fairly odd in the jungle since it is usually used when poked in lane, therefore Bone Plating is my pick, as it grants some utility early on and helps reduce some damage taken.

Revitalize

Out of these three options. Unflinching could be very useful when playing against good cc comps, and allows you to be a "bit" safer once your Flash is on cooldown. Meanwhile Overgrowth will grant you quite a bit of health later in the game, combined with some items that give some health too you can reach 2500+ HP pretty easily. But I've chosen Revitalize because of Zac's passive, the healing gets buffed quite a bit and it's a very nice bonus.

Inspiration

Gives some extra bonuses, extra CDR on his kit aside from free boots and extra movement speed in his clear.

Stats

Slot 1: Adaptive damage
Slot 2: Armor
Slot 3: Magic resist
As for stat choices, I think this is most likely the best combo, maybe CDR in the first slot could work, but I think the early added damage is probably better to help with clearing the jungle. You could always opt for CDR in slot 1 and then Adaptive damage in slot 2.


Aggressive


So you want to be aggressive while playing Zac? Good, but keep in mind the next things:
  • Remember your passive, as mentioned before, it allows you to be a bit more aggresive than you should be, but remember to be cautious when its on cooldown, and remember you aren't invincible.
    ---
  • Don't make high risk/high reward plays before you are comfortable with Zac. Learn how much damage he does, how much he can take, and then maybe you can start making some risky plays.

Defensive


When you decide to play it a bit safer, slower for certain reasons, be aware of these risks:
  • Falling behind, Zac is one of those champions you can't be too passive on, if you try and wait for your team to engage, you are doing something wrong. Don't be scared to go in if you see an opportunity. Sure your team might be so behind that even if you go in you'll die in an instant and that also doesn't really help. Well, either you picked the wrong champion for your composition or you're just out of luck. Standing still with zac and just waiting for a miracle to happen isn't going to cut it. It's better to try and make something happen than to be scared you'll die, this doesn't mean you just throw yourself in the enemy every oportunity you get. But if you see a good opening, 2-3 champion stun, possible ult into tower, try and go for it. Even zac knows it, "Go big... or go home".
    ---
  • No lane pressure, As a jungler, you want to pressure those lanes, make sure they are scared to push in on your allies or try to go for them. Zac has so many places he can just jump into the lane that it's hard to ward against him. If you want to be a bit more defensive, don't forget to still gank. The only reason not to is if your team is so behind you'll just feed the enemy more. Then I'd suggest either waiting for mid-game and grouping up, or find a possible other lane or ask midlane or toplane to make a group gank happen.


Passive

  • Use Cell Division to avoid death in sticky situations, allies can even potentially teleport to it and allow you to escape death even easier.
    ---
  • Remember though, It's not hard to kill Zac once he goes into his cell form. Try to make it count.
    ---
  • His passive also includes the little blobs that drop upon "Hitting" abilities, these heal quite a bit so always try to pick them up, especially when doing camps.

Stretching strike

  • Try and get the hang of using it, it's a very different ability as it has a double cast, but the second cast implies you auto attack, double clicking it will not make you able to throw another arm.
    ---
  • His range is increased slightly while using it, it's very useful to cc chain an enemy, try to not miss this ability as it pulls enemies back into the lane.

Unstable matter

  • Does a good amount of damage, probably his main source of damage to clear jungle camps, it's cooldown is reduced heavily by picking up chunks of goo, so try to pick them up during it's cooldown. Also allows you to walk through camps which make picking up the goo a lot easier.
    ---
  • This ability combined with his other abilities let you clear camps like raptors and krugs a lot easier compared to more single target junglers.

Elastic slingshot

  • Gank gank gank, this ability is one of if not the best tool to gank allies, you can jump into lane from so many different angles, it even provides a very good knockup when hit, then easily allows you to chain the combowith his Stretching Strike or ultimate.
    ---
  • This ability is a charged ability, so cast again when you have the desired distance, if you don't see an opening cancel it as it will return the cost and cooldown by half.

Let's bounce!

  • Very good asset in his combo, it's main use will be to throw enemies into your team. For example, you jump in with Elastic Slingshot in their backline, ult their 2 carries and throw them in your team. Another use would be to throw enemies below your tower or displace them from the fight to help your allies either escape or seperate the fight possibly from a 5v5 into a 3v4 and you end up being in a 1v2, but if you win the fight in the end. who cares if you possibly die, plus if you have your passive you might even live.
    ---
  • It also has another possiblity, much like his older ult, if you let go sooner, you will knockup all enemies inside and push them out (away from you).
    ---
  • While on the floor, you also slow enemies and are immune to crowd control.


Before anything, I'd like to mention that you should always adapt your items to consider your enemies, some items are good in almost all situations, but of course as a tank you should really consider what type of enemies you face. Spam mages? Buy Adaptive Helm, crit AD's? Buy Randuin's Omen, No AP champions? focus on armor and health, the list can go on so always have an open mind to items.
Best jungle item out of the 3 options, helps him scale health better. The passive burn effect also helps him do more AoE and clear camps faster.
Mostly because of his passive, zac makes very good use out of this item, it allows him to heal a lot more from the goo he drops on the floor, it also provides him with magic resist, always take into consideration the enemy team, it might be smart to not build this if their team is AD heavy. If their mages are behind, building another item first.
You might've seen this coming, as Zac scales well with health, this item is of course in the list, still take in mind that against AD champions more health doesn't imply being tankier, still this item allows you to have longer fights as you can disengage and heal up from it, plus more health is good against certain mages who can't spam abilities.
An item you usually buy against enemies who potentially crit, if they don't then maybe you should consider another armor item, possibly Thornmail if they are attack speed heavy. Either way this item also allows you to slow surrounding enemies, so your combo will have some extra slows.
A support item?, not really. Some tanks benefit well from buying support items, as they are usually cheap and grant defensive stats, buying this will even help out your team as you can use it while you are in the midst of a fight to absorb some damage.
Similar to locket, having an item that helps out your team even further, absorbing some damage for a potential teammate, can mean the difference between winning and losing the fight.


Go big... or go home

  • Health scaling on Zac makes him bigger, so why is bigger better? Well as a tank being big is actually good as you can take hits for your team by standing in the way of skillshots, blocking them for your allies.

Keep track of enemies

  • As a jungler it is important to know where your enemies are going to be and what paths they usually follow. It helps you counter jungle, and also be there when the enemy jungle ganks to countergank.
    ---
  • It's easy to do, place wards and possibly buy some control wards, plus use your minimap and the vision plants.



So before I show certain matchups where Zac can struggle I'd like to make a small list that will reflect some of the reasons why, aside from also pointing out other potential threats that I haven't listed so far.
  • Mobile vs Immobile: Zac is especially good against immobile champions, some examples are Ashe, Heimerdinger, and Lux, as they don't have any dash and are usually pretty stationary, of course they have certain crowd control that might affect you once you land, but if your combo is done correctly it shouldn't matter. So be aware of mobile champions, that have dashes, jumps, leaps, or any form of mobility as they can avoid your initial jump.
    ---
  • Heavy counterjungle: Zac isn't the strongest champion to 1v1 enemies, he is able to due to his higher crowd control and can sometimes even counter jungler other junglers because of his good AoE clear, this doesn't mean that some junglers can't be a real pain, for example, Udyr, Master Yi, Trundle, and potentially more squishy assassins like Shaco and Rengar are able to fight you, especially if you are behind. One of the reasons why is that his Q can only be fully activated with two targets, you might be able to fight some of them, but be careful.
    ---
  • Good clear: Zac has a pretty good jungle clear, I wouldn't say the fastest nor best, but he can clear AoE camps relatively fast, so it makes up some time for the more bulky single camps like Blue buff. This is a good bonus because, it allows you to gank your teammates. This is important because you want to pick Zac against matchups where you either know the enemy jungler will be more focused on farming to get his/her level 6 that allows for easier ganks, possibly Evelynn, or also find enemy laners that are bad when ganked, and can get very far behind, plus those that can't avoid your spells easily. For example, if you see a Nasus toplane, you'd want to gank him, Zac's crowd control will make for an easier gank and even later on in the game might be able to lock him down to let you shut him down completely.

Janna


This might come as a surprise to you but Janna is actually a good counter against Zac, here is a list to why and what to try and avoid.
  • Her tornado, not only does it cancel you while you charge your E, it can also cancel you mid flight, so try and be unseen when you gank botlane early or when you try to engage later on. Be aware that Yasuo can also do this, and I'm almost certain Nami's ultimate is also able.
  • Her ult, if she is fast, she will push you back out the second you land with your E, try and avoid this by either using ult to become immune to crowd control or make sure you jump on top of her as well.
  • Her added movement speed, it might not seem relevant but it might make the difference between enemies dodging your engage or not, so try to always surprise the enemy.

So all in all, try to engage on her without being seen or either when she has her cooldowns, try and wait till she uses her tornado for example.

---

Supports


So, we named Janna already, but there are more supports who impose smaller but still persistent threats to Zac.
  • Morgana: Her blackshield (E) can easily save anyone from your crowd control, so to counter it aim for multiple targets, but always keep in mind she can bind you the second you land too.
  • Karma: Her ultimate plus shield combo will allow her team to easily avoid your leap and her zoning with Focused Resolve might be able to keep you locked down.
  • Taric: His ultimate denies all your damage, if played well he could potentially deny the damage of your combo and even if your team follows up during, it won't matter.
  • Tahm Kench: He can Devour any of his allies helping him avoid your combo, the only good thing is, you can always focus him. if he eats anyone they avoid the damage but still get taken with you if you decide to ult.

There might be some other minor things that might lock you down, since crowd control is always present. So always remember what the enemy has that can potentially deny you.

---

Trundle


Trundle could be put in the support section but as he now is mostly played as a jungler, I decided to give him his own section, although there are only two things to keep in mind.
  • His pillar, if the Trundle is actually good, he can deny your leap (E) easily by putting a pillar down while you are midair, and he will stop you in your tracks. Also while you are charging your leap, it stops the charge.
  • His ultimate makes you weaker, as he steals your stats, especially your health. I'd suggest not facing a trundle because if he is smart he will target you every fight with his ultimate making it easier for his team to kill you and making himself stronger.

---

ADC's


There are a lot of ADC's that impose no threat to Zac, as his damage usually is enough to handle them, even so if you target them with an ally you should be able to make quick work of them, this doesn't mean that all of them are, plus some might actually have their own tricks up their sleeve.
  • Twitch: Pretty immobile, which makes him an easy target, but his invisibility might become an issue later on, when he shows himself he will already be attacking you thus it will be difficult to engage on him.
  • Caitlyn: The traps are an issue, her net (E) too, as she can avoid your jump, plus keep distance between the two of you.
  • Xayah: Her ult can deny your entire combo.
  • Vayne: One of your worst enemies, she shreds your health plus she can deny your jump with her tumble. Her invisibility also makes it difficult for you to lock her down.
  • Kog'Maw: Immobile so easy to hit, yet he might have enough peel and shred you faster than you might think.
  • Draven: Draven's E can cancel out your engage, his added movement speed from his W might also become trickier.
  • Lucian: Again, he has a dash which can help him avoid your jump.
  • Ezreal: Similar to Lucian and Caitlyn, ezreal is very mobile and with his slows, it might be very tricky to catch him.
  • Miss Fortune: Usually immobile, she has added movement speed but only out of combat, if she ults she stands still, so it can be easy to hit her, it depends on how your team is doing.
  • Kalista: Her dashes are a problem as they help her avoid your crowd control.

---



Work in progress


TL;DR? here is a short section on how to play Zac

  • Become the tank your team needs, don't pick this in low damage comps.
  • Use your passive to be aggressive.
  • Don't be scared to engage, you'll be the key to winning teamfights.
  • Don't forget to gank, he has good early gank potential.
  • Don't try to kill people by yourself, Zac is a lot better with allies, this doesn't mean that if you know you can handle it you shouldn't. Just be cautious when alone.

FAQ:

  • Nothing yet.
  • Under construction

Changes to the guide:

04/07/2018

  • Created the guide.
  • Added rune section.

05/07/2018

  • Table of contents added.
  • Artwork added.

07/07/2018

  • Published guide
  • Added artwork
  • Added matchups
  • Finishing touches
League of Legends Build Guide Author CptTeemoOnDuty
CptTeemoOnDuty Zac Guide